The United States and its allies froze more than $58 billion from Russian oligarchs

The United States and its allies blocked or seized more than $58 billion in sanctioned Russian-owned or controlled assets last year as Western governments increase pressure over the Kremlin invasion of Ukraine, according to a report. Joint communiqué of a multinational of the working group for the application of sanctions.

Russia’s Elites, Prosecutors and Oligarchs (REPO) working group held its sixth multilateral meeting of deputies on Thursday morning to discuss the group’s ongoing work and pledge to “double down” on its efforts to punish Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, and his associates. The working group is a joint effort between the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, the UK and the European Commission.

“The REPO will redouble efforts to hold Russia accountable for its unjust war, countering Russian efforts to undermine, circumvent or evade REPO collective sanctions,” according to a joint statement released after the meeting and obtained for the first time by CNN.

“The REPO will continue to identify, locate and freeze the assets of sanctioned Russians, with the aim of depriving the Kremlin of the funds it needs to fight its illegal war,” he continued.

Identifying sanctions evasion: The task force, formed last March, is also taking additional steps against sanctions evasion, as the US and its allies work to close the cracks in a sanctions regime that has weakened but not paralyzed the Russian economy.

Following Thursday’s meeting, the REPO also issued a joint global advisory to help the private sector detect and prevent common sanctions evasion methods, such as using family members to maintain access to sanctioned assets, creating complex ownership structures and using third-party jurisdictions and false commercial information to ship controlled goods, including those supporting the Kremlin’s war machine.

The task force froze financial assets and seized luxury yachts, luxury real estate and even priceless works of art, and US authorities recovered a possible Fabergé egg from a yacht seized from a Russian oligarch last summer.

A US Treasury official told CNN that the REPO also provides concerned governments with a valuable and streamlined mechanism to apply many of the same tools and best practices to the broader effort to crack down on sanctions evasion.

More than a year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the officials of the Biden administration are focusing on how to fill the voids in the evasion of sanctions, a problem that encompasses the entire range of opponents such as China and allies such as Turkey, India and United Arab Emirates.